This weekend, I felt like some comfort food, and pizza, pasta, and burgers were out of the question with my new health kick. So rather than just order a pizza or run over to Burger King, I made a pot of chicken soup. I have […]
My friends and I recently played tourist through New York City, and we stumbled upon a great eatery for brunch called, Cafe Tallulah, click here to view the restaurant website. This place made me think I was playing tourist in Paris. We ate in the dining […]
The other night I experienced an evening that reminded me of how exciting it is to be around great food, amazing drinks and others that love the food industry.
The Star Chefs Congress theme this year was Cook Your Culture. This annual 3 day conference is packed with full days of demos, workshops and tastings.
The demo that I was able to sit in on was “This is How We Doughnut”, hosted by chef Richard Blais, with chef Wylie Dufresne of Du’s Donuts & Coffee in Brooklyn NY, Alex Talbot of Curiosity Doughnuts in Stockton NJ, and Clare Gordon of General Porpoise in Seattle WA.
I was very excited when many of the doughnuts that the chefs make at their shops were dispersed throughout the audience. The first bite was a delicious fall inspired doughnut. I learned that these 3 chefs favor canola oil and rice bran oil. I wager to guess that many people are unfamiliar with rice bran oil. Well I had never heard of it. Rice bran oil, of course has a high smoke point (450 deg F), and it is made from the outer part of the rice husk, and a lot of people are using it because it is non GMO… who knew?
Products and Bites
There were all sorts of cooking equipment companies and food companies represented with food made from their products, or of their products.
The Rational cooking unit was so cool, definitely for the enginerds like me. This unit steams, roasts, bakes, and warms. The chef slow roasted a tasty bite in what appeared to be banana leaves, and it was pull apart tender. They pretty much described this unit as a smart oven. It can be set and started remotely. After the chef’s desired results are entered. the unit sets the appropriate temperature and time. I can not give this Rational product line justice in this post, but take a look at their site, you will be impressed.
The Mushroom Council had a popular booth with a slider made with a blend of 50% Cremini mushroom, and the other 50% was a mix of pork and beef.
One of the simplest, tastiest treats that I had was a delicious cheese display. The speck from Alto Adige was so tasty, I admit, I went back for thirds.
The StarChef International Congress, is most certainly something that I will be back to revisit, and become more involved in. Follow my Instagram for more of what was at this awesome event.
One of the first West Indian dishes that I ate after embracing my Antiguan heritage was Curry Chicken. Growing up in Michigan with my Antiguan dad and American mom, I typically ate mostly American cuisine, and occasionally had an island themed beef patty. Even on trips to visit my grandmother in Jamaica Queens, I only ate the beef patties. Until one summer, my aunt in Elmont NY cooked curry chicken, and my parents were not around. My sister and I didn’t know what it was, and went with the flow of my cousins and uncle at the table. The minute we tasted the curry chicken, we were in love. We never used hot sauce until we saw our family in New York using it, now I order multiple bottles at a time from our favorite hot sauce brand Susie’s (made in Antigua). You want to talk about eye opening. I think this experience probably opened my eyes to trying different types of food and trying to make more Caribbean dishes.
Curry Chicken Recipe
4 chicken thighs
Jamaican Curry Powder
1 medium sized onions thinly sliced
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 scotch bonnet pepper, diced finely
8 whole allspice berries
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup canned coconut milk
Seasoning the Chicken
Salt and pepper the chicken, and coat the chicken with curry powder and place the chicken in a plastic container or bag. Place the sliced onions, scotch bonnet, allspice berries, and thyme sprigs into container with the chicken. Allow the chicken to sit overnight while refrigerated.
Cooking the Chicken
On medium high heat add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan, and 2 tbsp of curry powder to toast, once you smell the aroma, add the chicken to brown on all sides, and add the rest of the contents of the plastic container to the pan. Once the chicken is browned, add water to just cover the chicken and bring to a boil, lower the heat to allow the chicken to simmer. When the chicken has cooked through and is almost falling off of the bone (in about an hour) add the coconut milk, and simmer for 20 more minutes. Taste, and determine if the level of heat is to you liking, if it needs more heat, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce. I’ll blog about Susie’s separately…yum.
Whenever I learn of someone or something being associated with my dads home country, Antigua & Barbuda, I am instantly intrigued. A few months ago my sister told me about Barnola, a great granola company. Barnola is a love note to Aisha Thompson’s childhood. The Antiguan […]
The popular street food of Trinidad and Tobago, is something that I have been wanting to recreate for years. With travel being so expensive, I find that food can take you on a quick trip anywhere you want. And as the weather gets a little for Fall like, I have been thinking of the Caribbean. I started on my Caribbean flavor trip to Trinidad. My next flavor trips will take us to Jamaica, and my dads home country the island of Antigua.
If you have never tried doubles, you have to give them a try, they are what I call the Trini Taco, the fried bread is the vessel for stewed chick peas in a delicious spicy gravy. The doubles can be topped with different chutney’s or sauces. I made a traditional tamarind chutney for a sweet heat to top this tasty snack. Doubles are typically eaten for breakfast or lunch, and as a special late night snack, but doesn’t this look way better than that late night fast food joint with the bell?
Although there are a few components to build a double, it is well worth it, and each component was pretty easy to make.
Stewed Curry Chickpeas
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoon curry powder
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 large diced onion
3 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon of ground all spice
8 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 drained cans of chick pea
2 cups of water
1 tsp of hot sauce
1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
2 scallions or green onions
Over medium high heat, cook the onion, garlic, and all of the spice until the onions have softened and become translucent. Add the drained chickpeas scallions, pepper, and hot sauce, stir and add water. Allow the peas to come to a boil and then allow to simmer.
3 cups of flour
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 packet of active yeast
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground white pepper
1 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of honey
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add honey and water until a dough is developed. coat the dough in oil and allow it to rest and proof in a warm area for an hour. Roll dough into 15 even balls. Heat oil in a shallow frying pan to prepare to fry the bread. Begin rolling the balls of dough flat and fry for 15-30 sec on each side.
9 tamarind pods
1 1/2 cups of water
3 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 scotch bonnet or habanero
3 culantro leaves
Empty all of the tamarind pods into a frying pan with the water, bring to a slow boil while stirring. Once all of the pods are in the pan and the water is boiling, allow the water and tamarind pods to boil for 4 minutes or until the pits begin to separate from the tamarind. Remove the pits, add all ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth. When the ingredients are a smooth texture, bring the chutney to a simmer in sauce pan.